Town of Ontario – October 22, 2012
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Supervisor Robert Kelsch; all Board members were present. The meeting opened with a Public Hearing regarding the Town’s ability to override the 2% tax levy limit established in the General Municipal Law. Councilman Robusto stated that it is not the Board’s intent to exceed the cap, but without this legislation in place, the Town could be penalized if it did occur. Councilman Melino agreed, saying this is something that has to be done. This year the budget reflects increases in health care, retirement, and Workers’ Compensation that have to be absorbed. Mr. Craig Litt questioned if there was any contingency plan in place, and what would have to be cut in order to assure that the tax rate is under the 2% cap. Councilman Ruffell reminded the residents that prior years have already seen the reduction of personnel but to reduce the proposed rate, the Board would have to cut services. Mr. Litt also stated that he didn’t mind paying the taxes as long as it’s fair. Supervisor Kelsch informed the Board that the County is most likely to pass an override resolution as well. Councilman Ruffell moved to adopt the Local Law; passed unanimously.
Next on the agenda was a Public Hearing on the 2013 Preliminary Town Budget, which was projected as follows:
– General Fund: Appropriations – $3,013,126; Revenues – $1,860,507; Fund Balance applied – $353,700; Amount raised by taxes – $796,919; Tax Rate – $1.25762
– Highway Fund: Appropriations – $1,399,579; Revenues – $525,657; Fund Balance applied – $150,000; Amount raised by taxes – $723,922; Tax Rate – $1.13957
– Library Fund: Appropriations – $339,320; Amount raised by taxes – $339,320; Tax Rate – $0.53414
In addition, there are special district taxes including Water, Fire, Sewer, Lighting, Business Improvement, and Drainage, paid by the benefitted residents. Workers’ Compensation costs through the County will be $128,870. The total appropriations in the Preliminary Budget are $9,084,716, producing a total general tax rate of $3.131050 per thousand of assessed value. The Tentative Budget includes raises for employees – 2% for hourly workers, 2% for those under contract, 2% for elected, and 2% for exempt employees, totaling $17,628 for all the wage increases. Excluded are those employees who receive a stipend. Justice Paul Sucher stated that he dislikes raising by percentages because it creates a great disparity in wages; giving flat dollar increases will reduce this disparity. Councilman Ruffell thinks the Board should hold off on adopting the budget at this time due to open/unresolved wage-related issues. The budget has to be finalized by November 20th, by law; it was proposed that the budget will therefore be adopted at the business meeting of the Board on November 12th.
– New Business – The Board moved to approve a plan by Gerber Homes to build a single-family home at 6191 Hollycreek Drive, Lot 2, Centennial Village Section 17, and grant their request to have the PUD district modified, allowing the home to be placed closer to the side property line than the 10 feet originally approved for that section of the development. The house will be 8 feet from the south property line; a Public Hearing on this issue is set for 7:00 p.m. on November 12th. A resolution was passed which authorized the Town Supervisor to sign a Rabies Control Contract with Wayne County, as approved by the Town Attorney upon review. Councilwoman Eaton-Smith brought to the Board’s attention that this is a very bad year for ticks on animals due to the mild winter, and residents should be aware of this danger. The final motion was to authorize the Town Supervisor to sign a salting and sanding contract with the Wayne Central School District for the 2012-2013 school year at an estimated charge to the school district of $3500, which is the same price they have been charged for the past 10 years.
– Public Comments – A resident questioned when the Watershed Committee’s meeting minutes were last posted on the Town’s website (January 12th?), as she has an interest in the progress of the improvements. Councilman Ruffell agreed that they should be posted, and Councilman Robusto stated that their next meeting is on November 18th, and the minutes will be on the website. Parks Director Riddell reminded those in attendance that the Halloween event at Casey Park will be on Saturday, October 27th.
The Board adjourned into executive session at 8:40 p.m. for the purpose of negotiations for the Union contract. The next workshop meeting of the Town Board will be at 7:00 p.m. on November 19th, and the next business meeting will be on November 12th at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall.
Submitted by Monica Deyo